The term “TV Everywhere” is both a brand name and concept. The concept was first articulated by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes in March 2009. In Bewkes’ formulation, all subscription TV content would be made available online, just as most free-to-air broadcast content is today. It would be distributed through online portals, such as Hulu and YouTube, by cable operators and by programmers themselves, through network- or series-specific web sites. But access would be restricted to current, paying subscribers to cable, satellite or telco TV services. He called his plan “TV Everywhere.”
The animating idea behind the concept was to address consumer demand for online access to premium content while preserving cable programmers’ current dual-revenue-stream business model. The key to making it work would be developing a reliable system for identifying and authenticating current pay-TV subscribers, while preventing their identities from being used by non-subscribers to access the content online.
In the months since, several cable MSOs, as well as network programmers have taken up the concept to varying degrees (and often under their own brand names). Comcast, for instance, calls its version On Demand Online, and is also incorporating TV Everywhere functionality into an expanded Fancast portal, while AT&T calls its early effort the AT&T Entertainment portal.
In this report, unless otherwise specified, we use the term TV Everywhere to refer generically to efforts to make subscription programming available online exclusively to current pay-TV subscribers.